ECHO 33 – High School placement update

— May 14, 2021 —

I’m here if you have questions!

EVENT RECAP: Intro to High School for 7th Grade + French after SDFAS for 7th and 8th Grade Families

In the Intro to High School Part 1 for 7th Grade Families webinar, Erin presented the following — available here on Zoom Replay. Please click here for the event presentation.

  • An overview of the options after graduating from SDFAS, emphasizing that our graduates will be prepared for any of these options and that they make very interesting candidates
  • Differences between private and public schools
  • Choice applications in the San Diego Unified School District
  • Timeline for applying via choice and to private schools
  • Steps to take for applying to private schools
  • What schools are looking for in a candidate
  • How Erin/Tom/Marion support students and parents on the path toward high school
  • Factors to consider when choosing where to apply/attend
  • Next steps in preparing, researching, visiting high schools in the area
  • Past admission data

Mme Addo presented the second part of the webinar, French after SDFAS, given that most high schools in the area do not offer courses with a level of French advanced enough for our students. She presented options that depend on the students’ objectives — keeping up the level of French, returning to France for high school, and/or planning to attend university in France. 

Options include: 

  • Taking AP French or IB French if offered at your high school
  • Taking AP French Exam for possible college credit
  • Taking AP Boot Camp Classes offered at SDFAS on Saturdays
  • Taking Advanced French classes offered at SDFAS on Saturdays (including Advanced French/Poursuivre le Français, Poursuivre les maths, DELF B2 Boot Camp. Classes will open only if there is sufficient enrollment. Mme Addo noted that these classes are not for grades or transcripts and do require self-discipline on the part of the student. There are currently 25 students taking these Saturday classes. 
  • Taking French classes at a junior college while in High School
  • Taking online classes via CNED (maintain credentials with French Ministry of Education)
  • Taking online French classes with OFALycée – mostly zoom classes –
  • Continue to study French when you go to college 

High School French – For information related to SDFAS High School French classes please click here.

La Jolla High School – If LJHS is your assigned school, here is the link to enroll: If you are interested in joining a sports team at LJHS, please go to for information. There are try-outs for teams, and there are athletic clearance requirements to take care of before you can join a team.
MBHS – If MBHS is your assigned school, you can fill out this enrollment form to get the process started:
We recently learned that there is a chance that IB French at Mission Bay will not continue to be offered after this year. Tom, Marion and I met with the IB Coordinator, and Mark is meeting with the MBHS principal to see if there is anything that we can do at SDFAS to support the continuation of French at MBHS, but as of today, we do not have a firm answer. Many of our alumni end up taking IB Spanish at MBHS and taking advanced French with Mme Addo, instead of IB French, but still, this is disappointing news.
MBHS offers the International Baccalaureate Program (I.B.) The I.B. is offered at San Diego High School, Mission Bay High School in San Diego, and further north at La Costa Canyon, Vista, and San Guajome. It is a very robust academic, college preparatory curriculum for free at these public schools. Many colleges give credit for IB classes/passing IB exams. Doing the IB looks good on college applications in the U.S., Canada, and abroad because it is a known, rigorous curriculum. It is not for everybody – it is very challenging, writing-intensive, and has cumulative exams at the end of 12th(and sometimes 11th)Grade. The program is complex – please let me know if you wish to talk about it in detail. Learn more about the IB here: IB General IB College Admissions Enrolling at your assigned public school   Please go to the school’s website for instructions – or see above for MBHS or LJHS. SDUSD requires the following documents for enrollment. (Usually just #2 – #6 for private schools.) 1) Proof of Residency – One of the following:
  •   Current utility bill (SDG & E, water, cable)
  •   A rental agreement or rent payment receipts
  •   Mortgage documents / Property tax payment receipts
  •   Military housing orders
2) Immunization Records (Shot records) 3) Birth Certificate or Passport 4) Copy of most recent report card  – you can access these on FACTS. 5) Copy of Transcript – Stephanie has mailed this to your home. 6) 8th-Grade Course Information Form (SDFAS prepared one for each family; they help the high school guidance counselor place our students in appropriate 9th-grade classes. Stephanie has mailed this to your home.
Enrolling at any school – Stéphanie mailed a copy of your transcript and a copy of your 8th-Grade Course Information Form to your homes before the break. These are important documents – please keep an eye out for them in the mail, and please keep them safe! Together, along with report cards, these will help your assigned high school guidance counselor place your students in appropriate 9th-grade classes. Some schools will offer you a meeting in person and some will do this process online this year. Students are usually assigned by alphabetical order or by grade. We sent these documents earlier than usual so that if you will, or if you might attend your assigned/neighborhood public school, you can complete the school’s online enrollment form just as soon as it is available, and then choose your classes with your assigned counselor once your forms have been validated.
For both private and public schools… In June, Stéphanie will prepare a final transcript, with final report card grades included, to be sent to your high school. This is one of the reasons we ask that you please keep us informed of your high school results and decisions as soon as you know.
Please consider – Whether you are anticipating results, deciding amongst possible options, or just anticipating life in 9th grade, the waiting period can be stressful in its own way, so please be mindful of your own and your 8th graders’ possible ups and downs during this period between now and the end of the year, and perhaps consider focusing on the adventures to come: new freedoms, friendships, opportunities, and responsibilities, and, above all, reassurance that it is possible to get a good education at any of the high schools in the area. Please be encouraged to enjoy the last months of being with 8th-grade teachers and classmates at SDFAS! No matter what your high school pathway might be, I would like to encourage you to take intentional time over the next several months to create opportunities for your 8th graders to take baby steps toward becoming more independent. It’s important for them to feel CAPABLE of managing some aspects of their life and making some of their own decisions, but they need to PRACTICE these skills and have your confidence in their ability to do so as a foundation. In high school there will new freedoms and responsibilities, the need for more self-advocacy, weighing options, making good decisions and mistakes, prioritizing, balancing homework/fun/health/friends/family, etc. I encourage you to practice letting go in tiny ways now, allowing your 8th graders to have a voice and take responsibility, for example, setting your own alarm and getting up, learning how to do laundry, budgeting, groceries, basic cooking, and cleaning…perhaps consider having a family meeting to discuss these shifts? Fair and reasonable boundaries and logical consequences are still important, too, but perhaps reached by discussion, collaboration, negotiation. We as parents need to stay involved and engaged, as we also, sometimes heartbreakingly, loosen the reins.
Pro-tip! As you finalize your choice for high school, please consider attending the school’s virtual college info night and/or other events via zoom. (Check their website!) This will give you a bird’s eye view of some of the students, staff members (and probably alumni), and tone of the conversation around student and parent support, in addition to giving you a sneak peek into the college application process and campus life. Explore the website to look for videos of events, too, to help you get a better feel for the place and its people.

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